Superhero fans worldwide reacted in surprise when #Marvel announced the Inhumans — a TV series that, uniquely, would initially launch in IMAX theaters worldwide next year! Marvel's Phase 3 slate had originally included an Inhumans movie, although that had disappeared from the schedules and was increasingly viewed as unlikely. This unexpected boost for the Inhumans franchise has left fans with a lot of questions. Little by little, we're getting more information — and the TV series we're set to see next year looks as though it's going to be impressively comic-book-accurate.
The Inhuman Royal Family
While fans of #AgentsOfSHIELD will be very familiar with the Inhumans — Chloe Bennet's wonderful Daisy Johnson being the most prominent of them — we now know that Inhumans is going to feature "classic" characters. Stan Lee's original concept was of a society of superpowered beings who largely keep themselves to themselves, isolated from the rest of the world. They're ruled by a royal family, and it's confirmed that the TV series will feature these royals. Marvel Senior Communications Manager Joe Taraborrelli excitedly tweeted:
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s main foray into the world of Inhumans essentially adapted a plot from 2013's "Infinity" event, a comic book arc in which a member of the royal family detonated a Terrigen Bomb, spreading Terrigen across the world, and resulting in anybody with an Inhuman gene developing superpowers. In contrast, the classic Inhumans are an isolated community who ritually bathe their teenagers in the Terrigen Mists, triggering their abilities in a controlled environment.
The City of Attilan
In the comics, the Inhuman society is based in the city of Attilan: a beautiful, futuristic realm that's deliberately kept off the maps. Attilan was originally based in the Atlantic, before moving to the Himalayas, and ultimately heading to the Moon. It stayed on the Moon for decades, although in the comics it's currently hovering over New York City!
Nowadays, it's pretty hard to imagine a city like Attilan being successfully hidden. To give you an idea, by 2009 NASA was able to combine 1.3 million images to create a single image showing 99% of the Earth's land surface. Sure, Attilan has advanced technology, but the Inhumans would need to know exactly how human technology worked in order to keep blocking it!
So it seems that Marvel has jumped straight to the Moon! The first two episodes of Inhumans will be shot solely with IMAX cameras, and it's been confirmed that subsequent action scenes — some set on the surface of the Moon — will also be filmed using those cameras. The Lunar setting means we're pretty much certain to get the classic, isolated, Inhuman society.
What Does This Mean?
So far, Inhumans looks set to be incredibly comic-book-accurate. You're talking a remote, superhuman society who live in a hidden city on the Dark Side of the Moon. I can understand why Marvel is interested in giving the idea a shot; royal power struggles are all the rage right now (Game of Thrones, here's looking at you). Setting this adventure on the Dark Side of the Moon adds a whole new dimension to the plot, and may help make Inhumans feel fresh within the wider superhero landscape.
Classically, the Inhumans have kept themselves distanced from events on Earth, so this news suggests we're not going to see an Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. tie-in at all. I'm now expecting Inhumans to stand on its own two feet, playing with the familiar concept of Terrigenesis in a way the #MCU has yet to explore. Guardians of the Galaxy proved that a movie can work when it stands largely apart from the wider MCU, and it seems likely Inhumans will try to achieve the same as a TV series. This is a pretty smart move, because — should the experiment fail, and the series perform poorly — it won't have any wider knock-on effects on the rest of the MCU. After all, it's not as though anyone on Earth is likely to know much about this!
Or is it? Even basing the Inhumans on the Dark Side of the Moon doesn't remove Attilan from humanity's probing. We've been getting images of the Dark Side of the Moon since 1959, and it's not inconceivable that one of the plots of Inhumans could be the discovery of Attilan. We'll have to wait and see.
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Marvel is pushing all their marketing might behind Inhumans, and is clearly very confident in the franchise's potential. The last decade has seen the Inhumans become ever more relevant to the wider Marvel Comics Universe, and it seems they could well add a whole new dimension to the MCU as well!
Are you excited about Marvel's Inhumans?
Poll Image: Marvel Comics